Wreck-it Ralph is the latest animated soon-to-be classic film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The film finds a perfect fit combining the elements of beloved animated tales as Shrek and Toy Story. Set in the world of arcade games, Ralph plays the underdog hero of the film, predestined to live his days as the villain of the fictional game Fix-it Felix, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary at a local arcade.
After three decades as the knuckle-headed archenemy of kindhearted hero Felix, and being subjugated to living alone in the town’s pile of leftover bricks, Ralph decides it’s time for a change.
When given the impossible task of winning a medal in exchange for being accepted into the town’s social circle, Ralph leaves his world and ventures on a journey to another game to seek out the chance to win a medal of his own. On an adventure like none other, Ralph must overcome obstacles as he travels into games and worlds completely unknown to him.
The film had me from the start. Meeting our hero in an what felt like an AA meeting for villains, we meet other classic video game bad guys like Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic franchise and Bowser from Mario. Throughout the film we encounter more of these nostalgic characters from our past, reminding us that Ralph could exist in this world.
Ralph spends the majority of the film in fictitious games Hero’s Duty, a Call of Duty knock-off, and Sugar Rush, which is essentially Speed Racer set in the world of Candyland. The worlds have been created with meticulous detail, and plenty of exciting and unique obstacles for Ralph to overcome.
The voice talent was perfectly cast: John C. Reilly (Cyrus) as Ralph, Jane Lynch (Glee) as Sergeant Calhoun, Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) as Felix, and Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz, Ralph’s friend in Sugar Rush who, like Ralph, faces similar discrimination from her colleagues. Everyone nailed their character spot on.
Much of the success of the film should be attributed to first time feature director Rich Moore, whose previous Emmy Award-winning experiences on The Simpsons and Futurama allowed him plenty of room to foster an understanding of comedy and animation. The film conquers both and is a creative masterpiece that should do wonders at the box office.